The Next Chapter In My Career: Mashable
As I sit here writing this, I’m less than 48 hours from an enormous life change. At noon on Saturday, I will jump on a Washington D.C. BoltBus en route to New York City. Around 4:30 PM, I will roll into the city and begin my next career adventure. On Monday, December 3, I will start at Mashable, where I will focus on social media strategy primarily for the company’s Tech and Business properties.
For those who know me well enough, you know how logical of a move this is for me. Ever since I was in college (I graduated from Ohio University in 2010), I have been a huge fan of Mashable. I am amazed by its growth in such a short time, and it is such an exciting opportunity to be able to contribute to further growth of the company.
For the past two years, I have lived in the District, working as a producer, reporter, and social media guy for U.S. News & World Report. Looking back two years, I think about the memories I have about joining U.S. News. I had previously come off an internship with The TODAY Show and the greatest summer of my life, AKA the MTV Twitter Jockey competition.
After finishing fourth in the national competition, I thought job opportunities would be flooding my inbox. (Hint: the job opportunities did not flow.) As I sat at home in Cincinnati thinking about my next step, I knew I wanted to work for a digital property; I knew that I wanted to lead social media strategy; I knew that I wanted to create content; but I couldn’t find a job that would allow me to do that. Jobs that came close to those desires never seemed to work out, either.
And then late summer 2010, a friend of mine passed along a web producer job opportunity with the Education section at U.S. News & World Report. The position asked for someone with technical skills, who could help build a social media brand, and would be interested in contributing to the editorial load on a weekly basis. The duties sounded great, but there was one giant red flag: I really had no interest in covering education. My experiences had been in video production, feature writing, and entertainment journalism. This really couldn’t be a fit, could it?
I honestly hadn’t expected to hear back after applying because my background really wasn’t a perfect fit. To my surprise, and if memory serves me right, I heard back from U.S. News a day later. The following day I had a phone interview; four days later, I was flown into D.C. for an exhaustive in-person interview. To be honest, with how many people I interviewed that day, I felt like I could have been interviewing for the CEO position–not to be an Education web producer! Two days later, I was offered the job. And on Oct. 4, 2010, I began my first-ever professional job.
I’m not really sure what convinced them I was the right fit, but I’m fine with that. I truthfully didn’t think I would be returning to D.C. after my in-person interview. But now, two years later, I look back fondly on my time at U.S. News & World Report. During this time, I’ve gone beyond the producer role to help establish and build a voice on multiple social media platforms for the company, I’ve been a part of some of the company’s largest project launches in its history, and I’ve contributed nearly 150 pieces of content for the site. For someone who had no interest in the field of Education, I found my niche writing about social media and technology in the field; so much so that it’s become a passion.
This is why the transition to Mashable is such a natural move for me. My time at U.S. News has brought to light two strong passions: I love to strategize around digital and social media and I love covering the technology field. At Mashable, not only will I be able to contribute to social media strategy, but I will also be doing it for sections in which I have strong interests. I really can’t wait to get to work.
This move does come at a crazy time in my life, though. My girlfriend of nearly four and a half years will remain in D.C. to complete graduate studies. She will be done in May. After living with someone nonstop for two years, six months apart will be very tough. We both know this. It’s hard to make a career decision when your best friend is going to be affected by it, but she’s been nothing but supportive about this. In fact, if it hadn’t been for her blessing, I probably wouldn’t be moving right now. So for being so wonderful, Jess, I thank you. And I love you.
To U.S. News, thank you. After two years at the company, I have been able to step back and think about all the opportunities I’ve had. I have been very fortunate to learn many things, wear a ton of different hats, and come out of the company a better journalist than I was when I entered. I’ll continue to follow and wish the best for everyone in the organization.
But now on to the next chapter. This is so cliche but I don’t care — this is honest. Two years ago, if someone had told me I’d have the opportunity to join Mashable and work with some of the best minds in journalism today, I’d have been very excited for my future. Now it’s a reality and I’m so excited to see where this leads!